"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 18 December 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Haw Haw Haw

[Will I Get A Reward?] "This letter is to say thank you for making so many wonderful tracts. I received Christ by reading THE SISSY. It was given to me by a mailman in 1978." - F.N.

[The Last Generation]

As you find yourself face down on

the shag carpet in a distant

relative's rumpus room staring

out of the corner of your eye

with Gaussian-blurred vision at

a 3 am replay of It's A Wonderful

Life, take a moment before the

Eggnog-induced blackout hits to

consider this: behind every

Macy's-bought pair of Doc

Marten's, behind every Alanis

Morissette CD stocking stuffer,

and, in fact, behind every

grinning bottle-wielding Santa

on every Christmas Coke can,

lies the gleeful, howling grin

of the great pretender, Satan.


[It's With Great Pleasure...]

Most pop celebrities come and go,

but the serpentine deceiver,

like blue jeans and Jerry Lewis,

never seems to overextend his

welcome - it's Satan's world and

we're just tourists sniffing for

the perfect snapshot. It's a

peculiarly paranoid worldview,

we'll admit, and if you pressure

us for details we'll hardly be

likely to distinguish ourselves

from the hoards of net

enthusiasts in our response: a

Jack Chick tract pushed into

your palm - or slipped into your

jacket pocket, where you're

likely to chance upon it while

fumbling for a fresh syringe.


[The Beast]

A quick Alta Vista search tells

all: in the net's grand

tradition of celebrating

society's most conspicuous

mindfuckers, disturbed

cartoonist and ecumenical

prodigy Jack Chick will likely

find his face chiseled on the

first VRML Mt. Rushmore - if he

ever deigns to manifest himself.

We wouldn't be surprised if the

first inline image was the

little Bobby's twisted evil grin

inside the pages of The Last

Generation. But after scores of

tribute pages and thoughtful

analyses, the latter-day saint

of supermorose ontology has

taken notice of the world's

latest venue for rabid

proselytizing and set up his own

website, chick.com.


[You Idiot!]

But what fresh insight can we

glean from his newfound global

presence? His message is the

same - the government,

entertainment industry, and

school system, the communists

and the capitalists, and the

Jews, the Vatican, and every

religious affiliation in between

all function as fronts for His

Horned Highness. In fact,

considering how often Satan

turns out to be lurking behind

the mask of someone's next door

neighbor or friendly stranger,

one might be inclined to wonder

if there's anyone out there to

trust - the paranoia necessary

for survival in Chick's world

goes far beyond that of your

average X-files fanatic. But we

didn't need Chick to tell us the

world's an evil scam - that much

is clear from the success of

Friends. That the Friends theme

song hit big may be the

strongest evidence yet that

Satan's still cutting those

Faustian deals, in Hollywood at



[Fat Cats]

But where Chick once

distinguished himself with a

brilliant distribution model,

starting with a masterful

syntheses of the comic and the

tract that would bring tears of

pride from both McLuhan and

Chairman Mao, his website puts

his integrity deeply into

question. Chick Ministries,

though ostensibly a global

presence, has more or less

worked as an invisible entity

for many years, and has relied

on the goodwill of sympathizers

to spread Chick's minicomics via

a network of bathroom stalls,

street corners and coffee

tables. But where Chick once

held the title of our favorite

existential subversive, the

ascetic tweaker behind a million

troubling timebombs, he reveals

himself on the net, for now, to

be chiefly preoccupied with

making a buck or two off his

propaganda. How many tracts

has Chick Ministries deigned

fit to place online? Zero.

Could Chick have fallen

victim to Satan's favorite

bric-a-brac, lucre?


[The Rapture Hits]

In these end-times, we'd expect

(and demand!) that Jack Chick

Ministries throw itself behind

the task of making all its

pamphlets available in

electronic form on the Web. As

it is, it's too easy to see this

as yet another case of the

people being let down by their

clay-footed prophet. But if

Chick, like the obese

businessmen of Fat Cats, has

turned from divine light to the

more Pulp Fiction-esque light of

the loot, it's up to the

disciples, as usual, to take the

crusade into their own hands.

With classics like The Beast and

The Death Cookie still in

circulation, the message, if not

the man, will continue to

instill deep-seated neurosis in

impressionable minds for years

to come. So, before you indulge

yourself in the orgiastic

Yuletide glee of the holiday

season, think of the lost souls,

consider the real value of that

gift subscription to Wired you

were going to buy, remember the

empty stocking of a close friend

or notable enemy, and stuff it

with the gift guaranteed to make

'em wake up screaming.

[Don't Be Fooled]

courtesy of the Duke of URL